Kyabram Reform MovementPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders / Sandra Brown

An avenue of trees commemorates the achievements of the Kyabram Reform Movement from 1901 to 1902.

In late 1901, Kyabram Citizens started a Movement, which in the space of two years was to see the number of Victorian State politicians reduced from 151 to 99.  The people of Victoria had agreed to Federation of the States on the understanding that there would be a reduction of State Parliamentarians, and reduced spending. Once Federation was achieved the promises were forgotten.

A public meeting held in Kyabram in late 1901 received enthusiastic support. A committee was elected, a circular drafted and sent to every Shire and public body in Victoria.   Three hundred delegates from across Victoria attended the meeting. There was complete support for the Kyabram Committee. One of Victoria's earliest political parties, the Kyabram Reform League was formed. Kyabram resident, Mr. Samual Lancaster JP, was elected President.

Two thousand members were enrolled in seven days and within six months, 214 branches were established. The Kyabram Movement was gaining momentum. One goal of the reform League was to reduce the Legislative Assembly from 95 to 46 members, the Legislative Council from 46 to 23 and the Ministers from 10 to 5.

The Peacock government refused to budge but the opposition led by Mr W Irvine embraced the reforms. In the general election held on October 11th, 1902 , backed by the Reform League, Mr Irvine's party swept into power.

A number of the Reform Clauses were adopted by the Irvine Government. Numbers in Parliament were reduced to 65 in the Legislative Assembly, 34 in the Legislative Council. However there were other changes that did not please the Reformers and adversely affected the town. Not only did the high flyers take a cut in pay, but the rank and file public servants also faced hefty decreases. Railway workers were hit hard and for years parcels traveling by train to Kyabram went mysteriously astray. When the Waranga outlet channel was being dug, 30 miles away, Kyabram suppliers were hounded from the site and blacklisted.


Address:Breen Avenue, Kyabram, 3620
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.313869
Long: 145.053475
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Trees
Monument Theme:Government
Approx. Event Start Date:1901
Approx. Event End Date:1902


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 9th November, 2001
Front Inscription

Federation Avenue

Planted to commemorate the achievements of the Kyabram Reform Movement of 1901 - 1902

Erected by the Voice of the People Committee 

Unveiled by John Elborough Kyabram Ward Councillor Shire of Campaspe

18 November 2001

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au